Stephen Yenser’s most recent book of poems is Stone Fruit. He is coeditor of the forthcoming volume A Whole World: Letters from James ­Merrill and Distinguished Research Professor in English at the University of California at Los Angeles. (March 2020)


Milgate House 1976

“I want words meat-hooked from the living steer” —Robert Lowell Recumbent on the king bed where you gaffed mixed figures—literary lion (or sphinx) as odalisque!—you handed me a draft of your new poem, on Circe and Ulysses (her avatar was downstairs mixing drinks), and fixed me with your understanding glare, …